Archive for June, 2011

Thursday, June 30: Day of Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Ad multos annos, Holy Father!

Ad multos annos, Holy Father!

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of his Priestly Ordination on June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.  In honor of his anniversary, the Vatican Congregation for Clergy suggested Catholic clergy and faithful be invited to participate in Eucharistic Adoration with the intention of praying for the sanctification of the clergy and for the gift of new and holy priestly vocations.

 Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York highlighted the importance of this celebration: “An increase in number and sanctity of the priests in service to our dioceses is a sign of health and vitality in the Church,” he said. “Prayer for vocations is ‘a worthy intention’ and an appropriate spiritual sacrifice in gratitude for the example and service of Pope Benedict XVI.”

 “This is an exceptional opportunity to give thanks for our Holy Father, to pray for all of our priests, and to ask the Lord for more vocations to the priesthood,” said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, chairman for the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “The Holy Father has been an outstanding model of priestly ministry and service to the Church. In his Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, he reminded the faithful that we all have a responsibility to pray for vocations. This is a great opportunity to do just that.”

We will have this day of prayer at Salem on Thursday, June 30th, the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which is also the Worldwide Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of the Clergy).  In addition to our regular 7:00 pm Holy Hour in preparation for First Friday, we will have Solemn Eucharistic Adoration following the 8:15 am Holy Mass until Benediction at the conclusion of the 7:00pm Holy Hour.

 Praying for vocations to the Priesthood and for the sanctification of the clergy is very important!  Why?  Without Priests, there would be no Holy Mass, no parishes or Parish Organizations, no Parish School, etc.  Therefore, 2 or more representatives of the following parish organizations are to be present in church during the following hours of Eucharistic Adoration:

9:00 – 10:00 am   ……………  The Christian Mothers

10:00 – 11:00 am   …………. . The Catholic Foresters

11:00 – 12 noon   ………………  The Legion of Mary

12:00 – 1:00 pm     ……………  The Christian Mothers

1:00 – 2:00 pm   ………………….   The Altar Society

2:00 – 3:00 pm    …………    St. Mary School Faculty

3:00 – 4:00 pm   …………   St. Mary School Children

4:00 – 5:00 pm   ………………   Jr. Christian Mothers

5:00 – 6:00 pm   ……  St. Mary F.A.S.T. Organization

6:00 – 7:00 pm   …….. St. Mary Knights of Columbus

7:00 pm Public Holy Hour ……  ALL PARISHIONERS!

For more information, please contact Darlene in the Parish Office.  During the scheduled times above, there will be no formal prayers, except during the 3:00-4:00pm adoration for the school children, when Fr. Lawrence will conduct a special Holy Hour for them.  Also, anyone can come throughout the day for prayer, not just organization members.

June 19 – 21: Triduum in Honor of St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

We just finished our Triduum in Honor of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ, beloved Patron of Catholic Youth and favorite Saint of Msgr. Weber, who built our church and parish schools, placing them under the heavenly protection of St. Luigi Gonzaga.  See pictures of St. Aloysius’ Altar decorated for the Triduum of Prayer below.  The devotions we use in his honor can be dowloaded by clicking here:  D E V O T I O N S St. Aloysius


June 15: Feast of St. Germaine Cousin, virgin

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

St. Germaine Cousin, Patroness of the Abused


Set in 16th Century France, the movie, Germaine: Requiem of a Soul, recounts the life of Saint Germaine Cousin, a poor shepherd girl who was physically and mentally abused by her stepmother and ostracized from society due to an unsightly skin condition. Though shunned and abused, her faith in Jesus and her charity towards the poor allowed her to transcend her physical suffering, and grow in holiness. She performed many miracles, and was exhumed incorrupt forty years after her death.

Germaine was from the village of Pibrac near Toulouse, France (1579-1601). She was born with a paralyzed right hand and afflicted with scrofula. Germaine passed her life under the authority of a stepmother, who detested her, beat her, mistreated her, and kept her apart from her brothers and sisters. Her father, Laurent Cousin, had no special affection for his daughter and ignored her sufferings. Since she was not considered good enough to stay in the house with the family, he gave her a small five-foot spot under the stairway of the barn as a place to sleep. Her bed was leaves and twigs on the floor, and her food only black bread and water. She was in charge of watching the family’s flock during the day. She was also given an allotment of wool to spin while the sheep were grazing. If she did not meet the expected quota, she was severely punished.As a shepherdess, Germaine spent much time praying. Often the villagers laughed at her devotions, and mocked her for her misery. Her only answer was silence.She took a great care to never lose her pleasant composure in face of her sufferings and misery. She never asked God to free her from that difficult situation, even when she knew that He would listen to her prayers. In fact, God worked many miracles through her to show His pleasure with her.During her working day, she always went to Mass. When she heard the bells ringing, she would set her crook in the ground and run to the church, leaving the care of her flock to the Divine Shepherd. Her trust was never betrayed: not one of her sheep was ever lost or caused any damage to the neighbors’ lands. Further her flock was the healthiest and best looking in the area.One day, after a strong rain the creek had become a raging stream, making it impossible for her to reach the church. Two peasants of the region who knew her custom to attend daily Mass came to laugh at her predicament. Instead of mocking her however, they saw the poor shepherdess walk straight toward the river without any hesitation. As she set her foot in the raging stream, the waters separated, allowing her to cross, just as the waters of the Jordan had opened for the Ark of the Covenant to pass. After she reached the other side, the waters returned to their tumultuous course. The peasants watched this with awe and fear, and then reported the miracle to the whole village.

Germaine also multiplied loaves of bread, as Our Lord did:  One winter day, she put some small pieces of bread in her apron to give to the poor. Accusing her of theft, her stepmother stopped her and threatened to beat her with a rod. In a great fury, she approached the girl, hurling every insult at her. Two inhabitants of Pibrac saw what was happening and went to protect the girl against the stepmother’s fury. They saw her stepmother order Germaine to open her apron, and instead of pieces of bread, a magnificent bouquet of beautiful and flagrant flowers tumbled out. No garden in Pibrac had every produced such flowers, and this was in the dead of winter.

One night, two traveling monks decided to take refuge for the night in a forest near Pibrac. They were sleeping when they were suddenly awakened by the sound of a marvelous singing. They looked and saw a group of virgins amidst a splendorous light who were passing through the forest toward Pibrac. The vision disappeared, but after a while the group appeared again. This time the cortege of virgins was coming from Pibrac, but one more virgin had joined the group.It was Germaine, wearing on her forehead a crown of fresh flowers. The monks were charmed by this heavenly vision and spread news of it everywhere.

The following morning, Germaine did not appear to take charge of the sheep. Her father went to seek her in the cubicle, and found her dead on her simple pallet under the stairs. She had fallen into her final earthly sleep.

Today the relics of St. Germaine of Cousin are venerated in the Chapel of St. Francis de Sales in Pibrac. More than 400 miracles were credited to her intercession in the processes of canonization. The site with her relics became the object of frequent pilgrimage, and the deliverance of two Popes from their captivities – Pius VII and Pius IX – are attributed to her intercession.

The First Class holy relic and reliquary of St. Germaine Cousin venerated on her feast day in St Mary Church is dated 1867, the year of her Canonization by Blessed Pius IX.  The authenticating seal is that of Julien Florian Felix Deprez (see photo), the Cardinal Archbishop of Toulouse from 1859 until his death on January 21, 1895.  Msgr. Deprez was created Cardinal on May 12, 1879.   He is buried in the Cathedral of Toulouse in the Chapel he dedicated to St. Germaine Cousin.

Prayers Asking the Intercession of St. Germaine Cousin, virgin

I.   Saint Germaine, look down from Heaven and intercede for the many abused children in our world. Help them to sanctify their sufferings. Strengthen children who suffer the effects of living in broken families. Protect those children who have been abandoned by their parents and live in the streets. Beg God’s mercy on anyone who abuses children. Intercede for handicapped children and their parents.
Saint Germaine, you who suffered neglect and abuse so patiently, pray for us.  Amen.
II.   Remember us, blessed Germaine, your brothers and sisters who labor and suffer in this difficult world. Know that we place our hope in you, ask for your help in our need, and for consolation in our suffering. Hear us as we ask you to be with us in our time of trial. You experienced much pain, isolation, humiliation, and suffering. Now from your place of glory please look with kindness upon our sorrows. In your happiness, remember our tears.
Form us in the way of your humility, your patience, your faith, and your charity.  And then, at the hour of our death, welcome us to our eternal home.  Amen.

June 13: Feast of St. Anthony of Padua

Monday, June 13th, 2011

St. Anthony’s Feast fell on Pentecost Monday.  Here are pictures of his statue and holy relic in the sanctuary:


Sunday, June 12th, 2011

The Altar remained vested in red for the entire traditional Octave of Pentecost.  On the ferial days during the week, the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit was celebrated.

Click on photos to enlarge them.

Will the New English Translations be Enough?

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Father Daniel Mark Kirby, O.S.B., writing on the reform of the reform while in Italy.  Please see this excellent article (link provided below) on his enlightening weblog, Vultus Christi:  Fr. Kirby should be one of your daily reads!


Mass Facing the People: The Single Greatest Obstacle to the Reform:

Here in Italy it is evident that churches were designed and constructed with an eye to the absolute centrality of the altar with priest and people facing together in the same direction. The placement, within perfectly proportioned sanctuaries, of secondary altars to allow for Mass facing the people has utterly destroyed the harmony, order, and spaciousness that the Sacred Liturgy, by its very nature, requires.

Crucifix, Candles, and Flowers:

Here in Italy — and also in France — the traditional symmetrical arrangement of the candles and crucifix has all but disappeared in favor of a curious asymmetrical disposition that nearly always includes a bouquet of flowers placed at one end of the altar, one, two, or three candles at the opposite end, and a crucifix somewhere in the sanctuary that may or may not be construed as having an inherent relationship with the altar.

The Priest Magnified:

Apart from these considerations, the most deleterious effect continues to be the magnification of the priest and of his personality. The theological direction of all liturgical prayer — ad Patrem, per Filium, in Spiritu — is obscured, while the priest, even in spite of himself, appears to be, at every moment, addressing the faithful or engaging personally with them.

It’s All About Me:

Certain priests and bishops, marked by a streak of narcissism, abuse their position in front of and over the congregation to soak up the attention and energy of the faithful, attention and energy that, by right, belong to God alone during the Sacred Liturgy.

Placed in front of and over the congregation, priests and bishops all too easily give in to an arrogant liturgical clericalism, subjecting the faithful to their own additions amendments, comments, and embolisms. The faithful, being a captive audience, are subjected to the personality of the priest, which can and often does obscure the purity of the liturgical actions and texts that constitute the Roman Rite.

One Altar at Salem for 18 months!

One Altar at Salem for 18 months!

In churches possessing an ad orientem altar integral to the architectural genius of the original design of the apse or of the sanctuary, secondary versus populum altars should be removed, and the sanctuaries should be restored to the original order, harmony, and spaciousness that characterized them. (empahsis addred).

In churches possessing only a versus populum altar, that altar should be so arranged as to place the crucifix, with the corpus facing the priest, in a central position with three candles at either side, following the Roman practice.

THANK YOU, FR. DANIEL MARK KIRBY!  May God bless you and your community for your dedication to prayer for priests, and your dedication to the reform of the sacred liturgy.

Prayer to Our Lady, Spouse of the Holy Spirit

Saturday, June 11th, 2011


  Prayer to Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit dispenses His choicest graces to those who have a tender love and devotion to Mary, His Immaculate Spouse. Mary on her part obtains the richest blessings for souls who honor and invoke her as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

O MARY, thou spotless Bride of the Holy Spirit, thou art the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the honor of our nation! Thou, as the Valiant Woman, didst crush the head of the serpent when thou didst offer thy Divine Son to the Heavenly Father, in the love of the Holy Spirit, for the salvation of the world. Through the merits of this precious Sacrifice and through the sufferings of thy Son, obtain for us the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. I thank the Holy Spirit that He has chosen thee as His Bride and constituted thee the dispenser of His graces. Look upon me with thy compassionate eyes; look upon my distress and needs. Help me, that I may never lose the grace of God nor defile the temple of the Holy Spirit, but that my heart may ever remain His holy dwelling, and that with thee I may eternally praise and bless the Holy Spirit in Heaven.   Amen. 

Our Lady of Light, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us.  

June 3-11: Novena in Preparation for Pentecost

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

You may find the prayer we use at St. Mary, Salem for the Novena in Preparation for Pentecost by clicking here: